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国防大学教授王斌:新时代中非防务安全合作

文/ 王斌 国防大学国际防务学院教授

新时代中非防务安全合作

文I王斌  国防大学国际防务学院教授 


导读:与所在国开展防务安全合作,是中国维护海外利益的主要途径。中国对非防务安全合作强调共同利益、相互尊重和互利共赢,因此被非洲国家视为削弱西方垄断、抵制大国干涉、填补资金缺口的重要力量

  • 深厚的历史积淀

  • 时代意义

  • 面临新的机遇

  • 广阔发展前景


中非是休戚与共的命运共同体、合作共赢的利益共同体。新时代随着“一带一路”建设加速推进和非洲《2063议程》逐步落地,中非间的共同利益和合作空间日益扩大。作为中非十大合作领域之一,防务安全合作是双方共同维护地区乃至世界和平促进共同利益的基本途径。习主席连任后首次出访选择4个非洲国家,9月在北京举行的中非合作论坛,会对新时代中非防务安全合作起到重要的引领和推动作用。


深厚的历史积淀

中国与非洲国家在相互支持、相互帮助中建立了兄弟情谊。新中国建立后,埃及、阿尔及利亚、几内亚、摩洛哥等非洲国家相继承认中国。1956年,中国向埃及提供无偿援助,支持埃及收回苏伊士运河的正义行动,拉开了中国对非安全援助的序幕。到改革开放前,中国向阿尔及利亚、安哥拉、莫桑比克等20多个非洲国家提供了资金、武器和人员培训援助,支持非洲国家的民族独立运动。

改革开放后,基于对和平与发展时代主题的判断,适应国家改革开放需要,遵循独立自主的和平外交政策,中国逐步推进世界范围的多层次、多领域防务安全合作。中国对非洲国家独立解放运动的支持大幅减少,援助模式也由无偿援助为主转变为无偿援助、贷款援助等多种方式,派遣军事观察员、军事顾问,以及成建制的工兵、医疗、运输分队,参与西撒哈拉、莫桑比克、利比里亚、刚果(金)、达尔富尔等地的联合国维和行动。2000年开始的中非合作论坛,对包括防务安全合作在内的中非全方位合作,产生了巨大的推动作用。

中国对非安全援助与合作,有助于赢得非洲国家的政治外交支持,成为缓解建国初期敌对的外部环境、应对美苏两个超级大国、重返联合国、缓解西方压力的重要战略依托,也为后来的中非防务安全合作奠定了坚实的基础。 


时代意义

总体上看,非洲地区安全形势比较稳定,但依然存在传统与非传统安全威胁。2012年马里的军事政变、2017年津巴布韦的政权交接,以及利比亚战后不同派别的争斗等,依然对相关国家和地区稳定产生重要影响。“阿拉伯之春”、利比亚战争,在一定程度上为恐怖主义滋生繁衍提供了土壤,伊斯兰马格里布基地组织、索马里青年党、博科圣地等恐怖组织相互渗透、行动活跃,形成从索马里到马格里布,经萨赫勒地区到西非的“不稳定之弧”。虽然传统海盗重灾区亚丁湾的海盗威胁有所缓解,但几内亚湾的海盗案件明显增多。此外,传染疾病、气候变化等也威胁着非洲地区的安全。

非洲安全不仅关乎非洲的发展,同样也关乎中国在非企业、人员的安全。2011年利比亚战争迫使3.5万名中国员工撤离,中国员工在苏丹、南非和尼日利亚等国被抢劫、绑架,甚至杀害。当前,“走出去”战略持续推进,中国在非利益不断拓展。截至2017年底,中国在非投资总量超过1000亿美元,在非公司约有3500多家,在非中国公民达到100万人。随着“一带一路”倡议与非洲《2063议程》的对接落地,中国在非利益会进一步扩大,中国在非企业、投资和人员将不断增加。维护包括在非利益在内的海外利益安全,成为当前国家安全的一个重要内容。在国防大学学习的外国高级军官普遍认为,与所在国开展防务安全合作,是中国维护海外利益的主要途径。

与地区安全威胁相比,非洲国家以及非洲地区的安全能力明显不足。2018年世界最贫困的10个国家中,有9个是非洲国家。有的非洲国家严重依赖外部援助维持政府开支,防务安全投入非常有限,武装力量建设面临资金短缺、人员培训不够和装备落后等挑战。非盟和主要次地区组织,也都面临着资金短缺问题。从2016年开始,非盟要求成员国捐献和平基金,用以支持非盟的和平安全行动。此外,征集足够的军队或警察参加待命部队、确保部队获得良好的武器装备、后勤保障、卫生防护等都是非盟及次地区组织在安全能力建设方面亟待解决的问题。

深化中非防务安全合作,特别是在资金支持、人员培训、装备援助、专业交流、部队训练等方面支持非洲国家、非洲地区/次地区组织,有助于提升其安全能力,进而借助他们的力量维护中国在非利益安全;同时维护非洲地区的和平稳定,彰显中国的大国责任、大国担当。


面临新的机遇

近年来,非洲国家的主权和自主意识进一步觉醒,对西方国家“以我为主”的合作感到失望,对他们附加政治条件、干预他国内政的援助方式感到厌倦。在国防大学学习的非洲高级军官认为,大国干涉是非洲国家面临的主要安全威胁之一,希望摆脱西方控制、实现防务独立。

2008年金融危机以来,西方国家经济复苏缓慢、国内问题突出,对非洲地区的关注,对非洲国家的安全援助能力、援助意愿大幅降低。美国总统特朗普上任之初就大幅削减对外援助资金,国际援助预算从2010年的59.5亿美元减少到2019年的41.7亿美元。由于成员国财政问题,欧盟缩减了对非盟和平安全行动的支持。例如,欧盟决定缩减对非盟在索马里维和行动(AMISON)的资金支持,使非盟面临巨大的财政压力。

当前,中国前所未有地靠近世界舞台中心,国际影响力大幅提升。2010年至2012年,中国对外援助金额为893.4亿元人民币,主要对象是亚洲和非洲国家。中国对非防务安全合作坚持“不干涉内政”“不附带任何政治条件”,重视非洲自主权和自身“造血”功能,强调共同利益、相互尊重和互利共赢,因此被非洲国家视为削弱西方垄断、抵制大国干涉、填补资金缺口的重要力量。他们希望中国能够成为可以依靠、能靠得住的伙伴,特别是在西方国家压力面前,能够站出来支持非洲国家。


广阔发展前景

在防务安全合作领域,中非双方具有辉煌的历史和丰硕的成果。在当前现实需求、合作机遇空前的背景下,中非防务安全合作必将获得新的发展。总体而言,中非防务安全合作是一个伞状结构。中国与非盟、中非合作论坛是中轴,逐步向中国与次地区组织、中国与非洲各国合作扩散。在强调非盟作用、重视中国对非整体合作的同时,应根据具体地区、具体国家的安全关切和实际能力开展针对性合作。

在人员培训方面,中国主要向非洲国家军官提供初中高级任职培训、短期交流等来华学习机会。未来应探索国别培训、专题研讨等更多类型;增加硬件设施援助、派驻专家帮助教学、派遣短期专家讲学团等形式;通过当地孔子学院或军地高校向非洲军官提供中文学习的机会;派遣训练分队帮助训练非洲国家部队或非盟、次地区组织待命部队等。同时,双方应加强军队院校间的合作,中国应向非洲军队院校派遣更多军事留学生。

在军援军贸方面,中国对非武器出口主要着眼于提升非洲国家自身安全能力,以及维护和平稳定、应对恐怖主义和自然灾害等非传统安全能力,出口规模不大。未来中国可加大支持力度,出口大型系统装备;增加对非洲地区/次地区组织的援助,使其在地区和平稳定中发挥更大作用;可在出口目的国集中的地区建立舰艇、飞机或机械维修厂,加强对出口装备的维修保养。

在联演联训方面,中非双方仅开展过卫勤联合训练、反海盗联合训练等为数不多的合作。未来中国可与更多国家建立联演机制,在联演联训数量规模、领域层次等方面有所突破;针对非洲地区的恐怖主义、海盗、跨国犯罪等非传统安全问题,开展情报共享、专项训练等多边合作。如针对几内亚湾的海盗问题,倡导设立类似于“几内亚倡议计划”的合作机制,等等。

在联合国维和方面,中国军队目前执行的7项任务中有5项在非洲。未来中国参与非洲地区维和会力度更大,规模更大。早在2015年,习近平主席就宣布中国将建设8000人的维和待命部队,派遣更多工程、运输、医疗人员参与维和行动;向非盟提供总额为1亿美元无偿援助,支持非洲常备军和危机应对快速反应部队建设;向联合国在非洲的维和行动部署首支直升机分队等。

此外,中国还应注意到西方国家的对非合作愿望,充分认识到非洲问题绝非一国之力可以解决,在非洲事务方面加强与西方国家的沟通与协调。(编辑:杨海霞) 



英文版:

China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation in the New Era

By Prof. Wang Bin, International College of Defense Studies, National Defense University    Translated by Qi Xiaotong


  • Profound Historic Heritage of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation

  • The Promotion of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation has Epoch-making Significance Attached

  • The Promotion of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation Faces New Challenges

  • Broad Prospects of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation Development


China and Africa have a shared future,the two rise and fall as one, they also share similar interests of win-win cooperation. In the new era, with the acceleration of the construction under Belt And Road Initiative and the gradual implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063, the common interests and room for cooperation between China and Africa have been expanding. As one of the top ten areas of cooperation between China and Africa, defense and security cooperation is a basic approach to jointly safeguarding regional and world peace as well as promoting common interests. Four African countries will be included as destinations of President Xi's first overseas visit after re-election. The China-Africa Cooperation Forum to be held in Beijing in September will play an important role in guiding and promoting China-Africa defense and security cooperation in the new era.


Profound Historic Heritage of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation

China and African countries have established brotherhood through mutual support and assistance. Since the founding of new China, Egypt, Algeria, Guinea, Morocco and other African countries have successively recognized China. In 1956, China provided free assistance to Egypt and supported Egypt's just action to reclaim the Suez Canal, kicking off China's security assistance to Africa. Before the reform and opening up, China provided funds, weaponry and personnel training assistance to more than 20 African countries, including Algeria, Angola and Mozambique, to support the national liberation movements of African countries.

On the heels of the reform and opening up, China gradually promoted multi-level and multi-field defense and security cooperation worldwide, based on its judgment of the theme of the era——peace and development, adapting to the needs of the country's reform and opening up, and adhering to an independent foreign policy of peace. China's support of African liberation movements greatly declined, with aid model morphing from mainly gratuitous aid into miscellaneous measurements comprising free aid, loan assistance, sending military observers and military advisers, as well as sending established engineering, medical and transportation units, participating in UN peacekeeping operations in west Sahara, Mozambique, Liberia, Congo (Kingshasa), Darfur, and the list goes on. China-Africa Cooperation Forum, starting in 2000, has played a significant role in promoting all-round cooperation between China and Africa, including defense and security cooperation.

China’s security assistance and cooperation, help to win political and diplomatic support from African countries, serving as a momentous strategic foothold for easing the antagonistic outer environment looming over the founding of the country, addressing the influence of the two superpowers, U.S. and USSR, returning to UN and assuaging tension from the West, meanwhile laying a solid foundation for the subsequent China-Africa defense and security cooperation.


The Promotion of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation has Epoch-making Significance Attached

In general, the security situation in Africa is in a relatively stable phase, but there are still traditional and non-traditional security threats lurking. The military coup in Mali in 2012, the handover of power in Zimbabwe in 2017 and the fighting between different factions after the Libyan war still have important influence on relevant countries and regional stability. The "Arab spring", the Libyan war, to a certain extent, provide the breeding soil for terrorism. Mutual penetration, frenetic activities of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabab, Boko Haram , formed an "Arc of Instability" stretching from Somalia to the Maghreb, crossing Sahel region to West Africa. Although the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, a traditional pirate disaster area, has somewhat eased, the number of piracy cases in the Gulf of Guinea has increased significantly. Infectious diseases and climate changes also pose threats to the security of the African region.

Security in Africa is not solely about Africa's own development, it also concerns the security of Chinese enterprises and personnel in Africa. The 2011 Libyan war forced the evacuation of 35, 000 Chinese workers who were looted, kidnapped and even killed in Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria and other countries. At present, with the strategy of "going global" continues to advance, China's interests in Africa keep on expanding. By the end of 2017, China's total investment in Africa has exceeded 100 billion US dollars, with more than 3,500 companies and 1 million Chinese citizens settling in Africa. Through the implementation of the "Belt and Road" Initiative and Africa's Agenda 2063, China's interests in Africa will further expand, and China's enterprises, investment and personnel in Africa will continue to increase. Safeguarding overseas interests, including those in Africa, has become an important part on the national security agenda. Senior foreign military officers studying at National Defense University generally believe that defense and security cooperation with host countries is the main avenue for China to safeguard its overseas interests.

Compared with regional security threats, the security capabilities of African countries and the African region are evidently inadequate. Nine of the world's 10 poorest countries in 2018 are African countries. Some African countries are heavily dependent on external assistance to sustain their government spending,while defense and security are left with very limited investment,their armed forces are facing challenges such as shortage of funds, inadequate personnel training and underdeveloped equipment. The African union and major sub-regional organizations are also facing shortage of funds. The African Union requested member states to donate peace funds in support of its peace and security operations since 2016. It is also imperative for African Union and sub-regional organizations to recruit enough troops or police to join the standby force, and ensure that the troops are well equipped with weapons, logistics and health protection.

Deepening China-Africa defense and security cooperation, especially in the areas of financial support, personnel training, equipment assistance, professional exchanges and military training, will help African countries and regional/sub-regional organizations in Africa enhance their security capabilities so as to use their strength to safeguard China's interests in Africa. Meanwhile maintaining peace and stability in the African region is also a way to demonstrate China's responsibility and undertaking as a major country.


The Promotion of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation Faces New Challenges

In recent years, the sense of sovereignty and autonomy among African countries have been further awakened, accompanied by a sense of disappointment towards the cooperation with the“self-centered” western countries, and tiredness of the political strings attached and interference in the internal affairs under the camouflage of assistance. It is recognized by senior African military officers studying at National Defense University that interference from major countries is one of the primary security threats facing African countries,they hope to shake off western control and thus achieve defense independence.

Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, western countries have experienced sluggish economic recovery and protruding domestic issues. Their attention to the African region has greatly reduced as well as their ability and willingness to provide security assistance. U.S. President Donald Trump cut foreign aid funding by a large margin when he took office, resulting in the international aid budget dropping from $5.95 billion in 2010 to $4.17 billion in 2019. Member states' financial status has incurred in the EU scaling back its support for the peace and security operations of African Union. The EU's decision to scale back funding for the African union's peacekeeping operation in Somalia (AMISON), for example, has exposed AU to enormous fiscal pressure.

China is now closer to the center of the global stage than never before, with a sharply mounting international influence. From 2010 to 2012, China's outbound foreign aid has accumulated to 89.34 billion yuan, mainly targeting Asian and African countries. China strictly adheres to the principles of “non-interference in internal affairs” and “no political strings attached” in its defense and security cooperation with Africa. China attaches great importance to Africa's sovereignty and its own "blood-making" function while emphasizing common interests, mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. It is the wish of African countries that China should be a reliable and solid partner,backing African countries, particularly in the face of western pressure.


Broad Prospects of China-Africa Defense and Security Cooperation Development

In the field of defense and security cooperation, Both China and Africa have a glorious history and have yielded fruitful results. Against the backdrop of unprecedented practical needs and cooperative opportunities, China-Africa defense and security cooperation will surely achieve new development. In general, the structure of China-Africa defense and security cooperation resembles an umbrella. China-AU cooperation, China-Africa Cooperation Forum are at the central axis, gradually enlarging to the cooperation between China and sub-regional organizations, China and African countries. While emphasizing the role of the African Union and valuing the overall cooperation between China and Africa,targeted cooperation should be carried out in accordance with the varied security concerns and practical capabilities of individual region and country.

In terms of personnel training, China mainly provides military officers from African countries with opportunities to study in China, enrolling in occupational training of primitive, intermediary and advanced levels respectively as well as short-term exchanges. In the future, we should explore more types of opportunities including national training and symposiums,and consider opportunities of different forms, including assistance in hardware facilities,dispatching experts to help with teaching and sending delegations of specialists to give lectures, etc. We should provide African officers with opportunities to learn Chinese through local Confucius institutes or military colleges, dispatch training units to help train African national forces or the standby forces of African Union and sub-regional organizations. At the same time, the two sides should strengthen cooperation between military institutions, and China should send more military students to African military institutions.

In terms of military aid and military trade, China's non-weapon export to Africa mainly focuses on improving African countries' own security capabilities, so as to maintain peace and stability, cope with terrorism, natural disasters and other non-traditional security threats, evidently, the scale of export is quite small. In the future, China could level up support and export massive equipment,increase assistance to regional/sub-regional organizations in Africa, enabling them to play a greater role in regional peace and stability; Ships, aircraft or machinery repair plants could be established in areas that host an intensive amount of export destination countries to strengthen the repair and maintenance of export equipment.

With regards to joint military exercise and training, China and Africa have only conducted a few cooperative activities, including joint training on medical services and anti-piracy operations. In the future, China could establish a joint exercise mechanism with more countries, achieving breakthroughs in the number, scale, field and level of joint exercise and training, carrying out multilateral cooperation in intelligence sharing, special training to tackle with non-traditional security issues in Africa, including terrorism, piracy and transnational crimes.In response to piracy in the gulf of guinea, the establishment of cooperative mechanisms similar to the Guinea Initiative should be put on the table, to name just one example.

On the UN peacekeeping front, five of the seven missions currently undertaken by the Chinese military are in Africa. In the future, China's participation in peacekeeping operations in Africa will take on a stronger force and larger scale. As early as 2015, President Xi Jinping announced that China would build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 men and dispatch more engineering, transportation and medical personnel to participate in peacekeeping operations, and that China would provide AU with $100 million of free assistance to support the establishment of the African standing force and the African emergency response force, deploy the first helicopter unit to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, and the list goes on.

In addition, China should put into consideration the desire of western countries to cooperate with Africa, should fully come to the realization that the African issue is far beyond the capacity of one country to resolve, therefore should strengthen communication and coordination with western countries on African affairs.